Abstract

Infrared (IR) small target detection is one of the vital techniques in many military applications, including IR remote sensing, early warning, and IR precise guidance. Over-complete dictionary based sparse representation is an effective image representation method that can capture geometrical features of IR small targets by the redundancy of the dictionary. In this paper, we concentrate on solving the problem of robust infrared small target detection under various scenes via sparse representation theory. First, a frequency saliency detection based preprocessing is developed to extract suspected regions that may possibly contain the target so that the subsequent computing load is reduced. Second, a target over-complete dictionary is constructed by a varietal two-dimensional Gaussian model with an extent feature constraint and a background term. Third, a sparse representation model with a non-negativity constraint is proposed for the suspected regions to calculate the corresponding coefficient vectors. Fourth, the detection problem is skillfully converted to an l1-regularized optimization through an accelerated proximal gradient (APG) method. Finally, based on the distinct sparsity difference, an evaluation index called sparse rate (SR) is presented to extract the real target by an adaptive segmentation directly. Large numbers of experiments demonstrate both the effectiveness and robustness of this method.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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